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Hancock City Council discusses the cleaning of water tower

It is not easy to clean a water tower. You can't just take a sponge and a bucket of soapy water and start scrubbing. It is also not cheap to hire the cleaning done. However, the cleaning is a necessary process in maintaining the tower and keeping city water clean and clear.

The Hancock City Council learned at its meeting Monday night that cleaning the outside and inside of the water tower was going to be a big and relatively expensive task. But, after ten years the tower is definitely in need of some work.

The most obvious evidence of this is on the exterior where mildew has been growing on the lower half of the tower. The city paid to have this mildew removed two years ago, however, it quickly grew back. Part of the reason for this is the lack of sunlight on this part and also the dramatic temperature changes especially in the summer when cold water meets the warm exterior.

City Public Works Director Vern Christie told council that he had just learned that he should run a circulation pump all year round to try to alleviate this. He normally just runs the pump in the winter to keep the water moving and warm.

The city council was presented with one proposal from Maguire Iron/ Water Tower Specialists for the removal of the mildew and painting the exterior. The proposal called for painting the lower half of the tower a darker color so any future mildew growth would not be so evident. The proposal also included a bid for cleaning the interior. To do the entire process, it was estimated to cost just over $20,000. This would include repainting the entire tower.

The representative of Water Tower Specialists present at the meeting explained that there were several options available for the cleaning and painting. The belly alone of the tower could be sandblasted and painted for $10,800. Council members could also choose to not clean the interior, however, this has not been done since the tower was erected ten years ago. The Hancock Owls name and logo could also be painted on the tower for an additional $4,800. There is also a mold resistant paint that could be used, but this paint cost $750 per gallon.

Another option would be to just wash the mildew off at a cost of about $3,000. This is what was done two years ago, but the clean surface didn't even last a year.

Council members decided to get additional bids for the work before making a final decision.

Well work

In other water related discussions, bids were opened for work on City Well 3. According to output readings for the well, there appears to be water leaking somewhere. Therefore replacement of lines and possibly pumps was put out on bids. Two bids were received, one from Conroy Well Drilling and one from Thein Well Drilling.

Joe Conroy was present at the meeting to explain some of the options in their bid. He told council members that many wells are not going to a high grade of plastic line instead of steal. He also told council that the pump or motor will probably not need to be replaced since the well is only five years old.

It was decided to accept the low bid from Conroy Well Drilling. Conroy also brought up a city well that has been disconnected and is located at West Side Park. He recommended pulling the pump from this well because there is a possibility of rusting and the pump falling. He also suggested abandoning the well and filling it in. After some discussion, action on this was tabled.

Jefferson Ave. dispute

A homeowner on Jefferson Ave. was present at the meeting to once again ask the city council to prohibit the use of the street by trucks that are loaded. He has observed a loaded truck come down Jefferson from 6th Street and then use 3rd Street to access a lot where the truck is then parked.

Jefferson Ave is not built for truck traffic but council has been allowing it's use for unloaded trucks. It was decided to put up signs on the streets where no truck traffic is allowed and to put up a weight limit sign for trucks using Jefferson Ave.


Police Chief Don Heikkinen gave his report and stated that he was investigating two subsequent break-ins on Friday nights at Buddies. He has met with law enforcement personnel from several area agencies. Many of these have had very similar break-ins and they are working on the possibility that these may be related.

Other business

Bids for sidewalk replacement on Hancock Ave and Fifth street were received. The bid from Rath Brothers for $15,700 was approved. Half of this will be billed to property owners.

* Council approved the refinancing of a 2003 bond into a new bond which will save the city money.

* A new computer tower purchase was approved for the city office.

* A motion was made and seconded to raise the council member salaries to $75 per meeting. It was noted in the motion that this would then be the same as School Board salaries. The motion failed however on a vote of 3-2.

* The city council will hold special work session on the budget on Monday, August 30 at 7 p.m.